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World Match Racing Tour opens in Perth

Britain’s Ian Williams won the Match Cup Australia last year, and he is back in Perth to start the defence of his title.

The who’s who of the match racing sailing world are in Perth for Match Cup Australia, the first Championship level event on the 2017 World Match Racing Tour.

Williams has also won the Match Racing World Championship six times, and current world champion New Zealand’s Phil Robertson, is in town with his team to try and repeat that success.

However there are sixteen other skippers and crews in town who will do their best to keep both Williams and Robertson off the top step of the podium.

Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands is another past World Match Racing Tour champion from the monohull era of the Tour, he is catching up with the multi-hull match racing style fast.

The Spindrift Team from France are led by Yann Guichard, a speed man who is completely at home in multi-hulls, until now he has been more familiar with big multi-hulls and long distance records.

Dane Nicolai Sehested, a former Volvo Ocean Race skipper, who has brought a strong team with him.

Also from Denmark is Jonas Warrer, one of the many Olympians in the line up, he won a gold medal in Beijing sailing the 49er.

Sally Barkow of the United States leads the all female and multi-national Team Magenta 32.

Local sailors Sam and David Gilmour both skippering teams that will represent the host club, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.

Torvar Mirsky is sailing for Royal Perth Yacht Club and Matt Jerwood is from South of Perth Yacht Club.

Local skipper Steve Thomas and his RPM Racing team made a clean sweep of the Perth Match Cup held last week.

They won every race, confirming qualification for this week’s Match Cup Australia, the first championship level event of the 2017 World Match Racing Tour.

Also through to the event are second placed Evan Walker from Sydney and New Zealand skipper George Anyon of Auckland who placed third.

The Match Cup Australia event is being sailed on the Swan River’s Freshwater Bay, with the opening fleet racing rounds starting Monday 20 March to establish the seeding.

Match racing starts on Wednesday, with the final Saturday 25 March.

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